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National Grid

Why customers are at the heart of National Grid's business

National Grid is an energy company operating in the UK and US – delivering electricity and gas safely, reliably and efficiently to the customers and communities they serve – all while working towards a clean energy future.

National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, responsible for making sure electricity is transported safely and efficiently from where it’s produced to where it’s needed, while Electricity System Operator is a legally separate business, balancing supply and demand 24/7. National Grid Ventures also enables innovations to help revolutionise and decarbonise the future of energy.

One of National Grid’s UK business areas is operating as a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) in the UK (formerly known as Western Power Distribution) – responsible for distributing electricity to eight million customers across a 55,000sq km area.

This electricity is distributed over 220,000km of overhead lines and underground cables, fed from 185,000 substations in the West Midlands, East Midlands, the South West and South Wales. The DNO connects customers, operates and fixes network assets to ‘keep the lights on’ for customers, and deploys a smart network to manage power flow.

National Grid distributes electricity to 2.5 million customers in the West Midlands, including 616,000 vulnerable people who are on our Priority Services Register.

The company’s involvement in the region is farreaching – from employing nearly 2,000 staff to supporting the West Midlands Combined Authority in delivering innovative new projects. One of these, EQUINOX, the Equitable Novel Flexibility Exchange project, aims to work out how DNOs can help decarbonise heat in the most cost-efficient manner for customers. This should deliver significant financial, capacity and carbon benefits.

As a sector leader, the 28toZero event brought more than 130 industry experts together, including Energy Capital, to review and challenge the progress being made to deliver a low-carbon future for customers.

More information about the company

The National Grid distribution network sits between the GB transmission network (also operated by National Grid) and our connected customers. The drive towards net zero and a low carbon economy has led to increasing levels of generation directly connected to the distribution network, including electric vehicles, heat pumps and battery storage.

As such, the electricity industry is undergoing a huge transition and these changes, and the associated increases in demand, have required new processes and systems, including adopting flexible solutions to manage different power flows on the network. Acting as a Distribution Systems Operator allows the company to continue to operate a smarter, more efficient energy system – always seeking better ways of working and innovative practices to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Customers are at the heart of our business. Corporate Social Responsibility is also fundamental through our shareholder-funded financial assistance programme, with the £1m annual Community Matters Fund already having made grants totalling £730,000 to West Midlands charities and good causes.

"We’re delighted to have collaborated on a range of projects including 28toZero, RESO and Equinox with partners such as Energy Capital – having been a board member since its inception in 2018 – and the Black Country LEP. We were also pleased to make the Commonwealth Games a success through the support of our Birmingham distribution depot."

A headshot of man looking at the camera

Paul Jewell

System Development Manager

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